Business

6 Ways to Market Your Business on a Tight Budget

Megan O'Neill

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Running a small business is not only time consuming – it also costs money. With all of your other expenses, you may not have room in your budget to spend a lot on marketing. Luckily, there are a number of low-cost options you can turn to that can be incredibly effective in getting the word out about your business.

Start a blog

A blog can be a fantastic tool not only for driving traffic and spreading awareness, but also for establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. By producing regular content around your business you open the door for potential customers to discover you when searching for related terms, and blog posts can also serve as fodder for social media that can be shared again and again.

When blogging, write about useful ideas that are related to your business and not just company news. For instance, if you are running a restaurant, you can share interesting recipes. Readers that enjoy your recipes will be inclined to visit your restaurant and try your food out for themselves.

Get active on social media

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube are great, low-cost places to promote yourself. You can share blog content, videos, company news and deals, and more and target content to consumers in your area with ads that won’t break the bank.

Note that on social media engagement is key. In addition to sharing content, remember to respond to people that comment on your content or ask questions. You can also look for people who are talking about topics related to your business and join in the conversation to get your name, and your business’s name, out there.

Promote yourself with video

Our recent Online and Social Video Marketing study revealed that four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it and that one in four consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video.

The benefits of video are massive. Not only do consumers want to see video from businesses, but video also leads to higher ranking in search results, sees farther reach on social media than other types of content, and can be used in all sorts of places, from your website to YouTube to playing on a loop in your storefront. You can also create video at low cost, on your own, using DIY tools like Animoto.

This video from Dropel Fabrics, created with Animoto, does a great job of explaining the company’s product. To see another example, check out our blog post about how New York Yoga uses storefront video to drive foot traffic.

Partner up

Partnering up with like-minded companies or people can be a fun way to reach new customers. Join forces with a complementary business and offer a service for a service. Here are some ideas:

  • Offer your product or service free of charge in exchange for a mention on social media or in a newsletter.
  • Exchange promotional material, like business cards or post cards, and leave them out for for each other’s customers.
  • Create a video together and share to both of your followers on social media.

Attend events

Attending events related to your industry can help you get your name out there and meet new people for potential partnerships. Meetup.com is a great place to discover events and meetups in your area related to everything from photography to technology, food, sports, and everything in between.

Share your expertise

Finally, share your expertise with the world. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’ve got insight into your industry that not a lot of people have. You can share what you know by teaching classes, speaking at events, creating videos, writing blog posts and more. When you give knowledge away, you cement your position as an expert. When people need products or services related to your company they’ll turn to you first.

Are there other low-cost methods you use to market your business? We’d love to hear them. Share them with us in the comments below.


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